To start things off, it made sense to firstly critically analyse the requirements. As detailed as they were, it was important for us to unpack what needed to be done, what should be done, and what would be nice to do.
Once we were more familiar with the brand, the clientèle, the products and the specific ways they were merchandized and sold, we were able to advise on an approach that would meet their objectives.
It was decided that a customized theme approach was viable for them, although the choice of theme would be an important factor. For this reason we trialed the full catalogue of Out of the Sandbox themes and ultimately decided that Parallax was the best option for their business.
Having conducted the necessary research in the discovery phase, we had a clearer idea of what needed to be done visually on the store. Using the chosen theme as a base, we set out to design the store with enough visual differentiation to have the store stand apart while still retaining the strong points of the theme.
We worked in conjunction with the client's brand designer, who produced a brilliant brand identity including a new logo, typefaces and colouring.
The process included a fair deal of Photoshop time, but ultimately there were minimal revision rounds and we got through this phase fairly quickly.
With a development environment set up, a completed design approved, and all the required resources, we tucked into the theme development.
As with most aspects of this project, the development went very smoothly. Our brilliant team of developers meticulously coded the customized theme design in the development environment, and we collaboratively tested with the client as we went.
This stage culminated in what was essentially a completed and tested theme ready for deployment, but there was still one phase remaining.
Once the theme had been coded, we were ready to begin implementation of the customizations to the normal function of the store.
There were a number of clever bits of custom functionality in the previous build. For instance, a "Buy a Sample" link on the product page which appeared if FoldaBox offered samples for that product. There were also some trickier bits where the transplanting of the existing customizations needed to be re-written to work in the new theme.
This was a fairly incremental phase with a number of learnings along the way about how the previous customizations worked and whether they were usable or not.
Of course, testing was a heavy aspect of this phase as almost every customization had some implication on the working of the site. Ultimately the transition of the functionality went quite smoothly and without any major headaches.
Launching a redesigned Shopify store can be a somewhat daunting task. It's usually an existing store that is likely receiving a good number of orders per day. Launching at the wrong time loses the merchant sales during the deployment and any major mistakes can cause a drop (or even flatline) sales until they are solved.
We made a data based decision based on the store's analytics to launch the store very early in the morning on a day that normally has the lowest number of sales.
A good deal of planning was paramount for the deployment. Every aspect of the deployment was listed in a comprehensive set of Trello cards that allowed us to tick items off as they're done. This allowed us to execute the actual deployment task in a surprisingly short period of time (under 2hrs) and thanks to our pre-tests, almost everything went as planned and they were back up and selling sooner than we actually expected.
After the site went live, there was an immediate positive response from FoldaBox's customers and some of the pain points mentioned in the brief were very effectively addressed by the new theme. The number of "how do we do x" phonecalls slowed down almost to a halt, and there were only some minor issues that we managed to resolve before they were even seen by customers.
Being in a much better position now, with a fresh looking storefront and with a list of "nice to have" enhancements to the site, we cherry-picked the ones that would have the most positive impact (i.e. return on investment), and set out to scope them out and ultimately build them.
One of the more notable enhancements was the hover-cart, which we designed and developed, that allows visitors to view and manage their cart from any page on the site. We also completely overhauled the footer of the theme.
Nicole at FoldaBox was (is) probably the ideal client. From the get-go her brief was concise and figuring out her needs and desires was a pleasurable and flowing experience.
The well defined and logical phases we came up with together allowed both ShopCreatify and FoldaBox to initially get a good sense of how well suited we were to take the project all the way through to completion together. Thankfully, the initial phases went off brilliantly with a great initial rapport formed between us that remained throughout the project and lasts to this day.
At the time of this summary being written, we are still constantly enhancing and improving the FoldaBox store and they are continuing to see the results of these efforts. Whether implementing better sidebar filtering or adding a form to reduce customer calls, the continual effort allows FoldaBox to increase their bottom line and eradicate pain points along the way.